Keltie & Kepu

Chapter One

Keltie had gotten cabin fever again and insisted they all go on an adventure. As always Kepu took little convincing and their adult children were just as adventurous as their mother. They all took just two changes of clothes each, medicines and a few spices for food they were to kill and eat on the journey. When they were ready Keltie and their children couldn’t get out the door fast enough which lit up Kepu as it always did. He was honestly happy none of their children had left home yet because he knew both he and Keltie would miss them once they decided it was time to live on their own.

Once on the red dirt path Kepu lifted Keltie and set her on his shoulders. She smiled happily and just enjoyed the view. He planned to keep her there until they got into town and could rent horses for their journey. Keltie had talked a few times about them actualyl buying or taming their own but they still hadn’t gotten around to doing it. Regardless Kepu liked carrying his wife for a small portion of the journey when they decided to go somewhere so he wasn’t in any hurry.

Keltie looked down at her husband and smiled warmly. She couldn’t believe how lucky she had been to find such a gentle man. Every day they had been together, he had made sure she felt loved. He had given her three beautiful children, all of them just as amazing. She kissed the top of his head and he tipped his head back and smiled up at her. “Kiss me.” He said softly and she happily pressed her lips against his.

“Love you.” She said once she parted their lips.

“I love you too.”

“Next thing you know we’ll have another brother or sister.” Zavier teased, making both Keltie and Kepu blush.

Umiko put her brother in a headlock. “And what would be wrong with that, at least we’d have someone cute to look at.”

“Come on now, I’m pretty cute.” Ozuru joked.

“As a mule.” Umiko shot back as her brother finally managed to pull his head free and they all three laughed.

Keltie and Kepu both smiled. “What do you say papa bear, should we have another?” Keltie asked softly.

“As many as you like my love. We’ll have a hundred if you want.”

“You really are the sweetest man in the world.”

His smile grew wider, almost becoming ridiculous since he was feeling so much joy. “so when are we going to buy horses again so we dont have to walk to town before going anywhere?” Zavier asked. “Maybe after we get back unless we see a wild one we can convince to come home with us. Will be hard to find another for your father and Ozuru but its doable.”

“I’ll find the elf I got my last one from” Kepu said. “Its a shame we cant make our horses immortal as well” Umiko added sadly. “have any clue where you want to go mom?” Ozuru asked. “where ever the world leads us” she answered, her children and husband used to her odd answers.

Keltie was happy it didn’t take them too long to get to town. With her on Kepu’s shoulders and he and their children’s longer strides, it took a lot less time. They went straight to the stables, renting horses for Keltie, Umiko, and Zavier. “But Kepu, I don’t want to ride if you’re not.” Keltie said with a frown.

“It’s okay my love, I’ll just lead yours until we get to Dion’s.” He looked at Ozuru. “Reassure your mother.”

“We’ll be fine mom, dad and I could walk for ages.”

“As long as you’re sure.”

“We are love.” Kepu replied, looking at her adoringly. She smiled warmly back and kissed him. “What was that for?” He asked when she parted their lips.

“Being the most amazing, perfect husband in the world.” He stroked her cheek and kissed her cheek then grabbed her horse’s reigns and lead it through town. Their children followed, talking happily and teasing each other.

Keltie felt relief when she could finally see Dions up ahead. Though it was true her husband and oldest son could seemingly walk without end she would feel much better when he could ride with them. When Kepu knocked Dion recognized it as his right away so opened the door already looking up “Hey there, visit or finally need a new horse?”

“my wife wants to go on another adventure so we decided it was time”

“I see you’ve already gotten a few, why not let them rest for a time and have some tea with me before we talk business. I could even whip up a nice snack if you’d like”

“I’m in” Zavier quickly answered and Umiko shook her head “He mentioned food, of course Zavier is in” Keltie chuckled “thanks Dion” They let their horses run with the others then went inside. Kepu and Ozuru having to be mindful their heads didnt hit anything since this houses doorframes were only just high enough for them to clear.

“Mint tea okay?” Dion asked as he disappeared into the kitchen.

“That’s fine, do you need help?” Keltie replied.

“Just relax with your husband, I won’t be long.”

Kepu grabbed her before she talked Dion into letting her help and pulled her onto his lap. She giggled and kissed his cheek. “Alright, alright I’ll relax.”

“Sorry, I just really like holding you.”

“You’re too sweet.” They waited patiently, listening to Dion humming as he made tea and sandwiches. He bought everything out on two trays and sat them on the coffee table before taking a seat.

“I hope this is okay.” Dion said with a warm smile.

“It’s perfect Dion, you didn’t have to make so much though, peanut butter and crackers would have been fine as well.” Keltie said as she lifted her cup of tea.

“It was no problem and besides, with a husband and kids like that I’m sure peanut butter and crackers simply wouldn’t do.”

“This man knows what he’s talking about.” Zavier said then took a big bite out of his sandwich.

Keltie smiled and grabbed a sandwich for herself and Kepu “you have a horse for me then?” Kepu asked “oh yes, you have four to pick from. I had quite a nice heard of them going but somthing decided to come along and eat a few of the poor dears. I’m going to see about finding me a few more so the gene pool wont be so small.” Dion answered. “where do you find them?” Umiko asked. “Some i actually do find. Horses take a likeing to me easy while some I get from some respectable dealers in animals. I’ve only bought from a bastard once and I made sure my transaction was his last. I noticed quick the poor horse was used to being abused.”

“Is he something we should worry about?” Umiko asked.

“No, after I bought the horse from him, I put the word that he was an abusive monster. Because I have such
a spotless reputation, he was immediately ruined.” He smiled warmly at Umiko. “You should know by now that I will not stand for animal cruelty.”

“Well yeah, of course.”

Dion turned his attention back to Kepu. “Of the four horses Agrius and Tityos are the best, they’re the biggest and strongest. You can decide for yourself if you like them of course.”

“You always recommend the best.”

“Breeding draft horses for your family has been a delight. If you wish to keep the horses afterwards then please do, I know with you they will be very well taken care of.”

When they were done Dion took them out so they could examine his horses. Kepu bought the two Dion had recommended then asked ‘which one do you want Ozuru?”

“Tityos if you want Agrius.”

“That’s fine with me. Thank you Dion”

“No problem, thank you for coming to me again” They all saddled up and set out on the road again with Keltie leading. She began humming a gentle song as they rode which her family enjoyed. It was a peaceful and scenic trip until rain started pouring. The horses picked up the pace as they attempted to find cover. Eventually they saw an area of thick woods and hoped it was thick enough so they wouldn’t all get so drenched.

Kepu got down from his horse once they were all settled under the trees and pulled Keltie down from hers, holding her in his arms as he sat down against the trunk of one of the trees. “I better keep you warm.” He said lovingly and she smiled up at him. “Figure out where you want to go or would you just like to wander?”

“Do you remember that valley we found on our honeymoon?”

A light blush tinted his cheeks. “The one with the rainbow grass and weird leopards?”

“Yeah, I want to take the kids there. I mean how many times do you get to see a cat that can change colors?”

“Or rainbow grass.” Zavier injected.

“Exactly, I think they’d love it.”

“Then we’ll go.”

They all sat close to eachother to wait out the rain and began talking to pass time “when the rain stops maybe Umiko and I can go hunt somthing for us to eat”

“yeah and I’ll make a fire” Zavier answered ‘sounds good, we’ll all change and our clothes too and I’ll take care of washing them next time we find a river”

“No mom, one of us can do it. We want you and dad to just have fun” Umiko answered then Keltie spoke again. “we’ve always been a team”

“yeah but you and dad do enough. We’ve got this” her brothers nodded “no complaints here honey, just let them” Kepu said and Keltie just relaxed against him. When the rain stopped Umiko and Ozuru went hunting then Zavier went to find sticks dry enough that he could start a fire with. “what type of food do you want sister?’ Ozuru asked. She shrugged “whatever we find first”

“Think we’ll get another sibling soon?”

“Now that the idea is in their heads I’m sure. I really hope that if I find a husband I have what they have”

“Oh you will Umiko” she gave him a look “I’m freakishly tall as far as girls go Ozuru. You yourself have knocked some teeth out because of ass’s”

“You don’t want a man who cares about that shit anyway Umiko. You’re awesome and beautiful. You’ll get married one day and if he doesnt treat you like dad treats mom Zavier and I will beat him until he does” Umiko laughed and punched his shoulder “love you too” Between the skills they each had they caught dinner almost effortless then began their walk back to their family.

“oh look, you didn’t fail at making a fire” Ozuru said teasingly to his brother who sarcastically laughed.

“And you managed to keep up with our sister on a hunt, I’m so shocked I might die.”

Ozuru put him in a headlock and both Keltie and Kepu couldn’t help but laugh as they wrestled. “Alright children food first, play later.” Umiko said.

“Spoil sport.” Zavier said with a smile as he and Ozuru broke apart. With the three of them working, it took know time at all to clean and cook their food. Kepu was proud of his children and how capable they had become at hunting. He knew he never had to worry about them.

“I kind of hope we have another girl so Umiko has a sister.” Keltie said and Kepu smiled down at her.

“I’ll be happy either way.”

“Is that dad for please ye gods don’t give me another beautiful daughter because I would hate to have to kill someone?”

“Exactly.”

“We can hear you two.” Umiko said.

“Yeah, you’re not very good whisperers and besides, there is no way any sibling of ours will have to worry about anyone hurting them, we’d kill them first.” Zavier added.

“Plus, Umiko is really strong, so any female sibling we have will be too.”

Chapter Two

“that she is” Kepu acknowledged proudly. The next day they were off again, the only sounds being nature and their three children joking around as usual. The weather held that day and the next, only trouble with the third day was the wind but it was more of annoyance than real trouble. When they arrived all three of their childrens eyes widened at the site. There was many beautiful and amazing things about their world but this place was astounding. Umiko quickly dismounted followed by her siblings then parents.

“I think they like it.” Kepu said with a big smile.

“I knew they would.” Keltie replied. Kepu lifted her onto his shoulders and she laughed, loving being carried by him. She loved how tall he was, that she was able to see everything from the safety of his shoulders. He walked leisurely through the beautifully colored grass and they watched their children enjoying this new part of their world.

“Why have we never been here?” Umiko asked her parents.

“We just never thought of coming here again. We’ve just been enjoying being a family.” Keltie answered.

“Look at that leopard.” Zavier said excitedly and everyone followed where his finger pointed. The big cat stopped to look at them for a moment then seemed to vanish, its coat becoming the same color as the grass around it.

“Wow, I’ve never seen anything that cool.” Ozuru exclaimed.

“Are they dangerous?” Umiko asked.

“No, they just startle easily, if you ignore them they’ll come to you after awhile.” Kepu explained.

“What about the horses?” Zavier asked.

“They won’t be bothered, the leopards can smell human and elf on them and won’t hurt them.”

They decided with that information they were set for the area and went off. Kepu took Keltie to a pond they sunk their feet in and relaxed by last time they were there. He set her down right on the edge “woo, it’s colder this time” Keltie said and Kepu smiled “Yes but it’s nice to be back. We should have brought them sooner”

“good thing we’re immortal and have all the time in the world to do everything” Kepu took his wifes hand and sighed happily “I really love you Keltie”

‘I love you too, always”

“want me to get us a Snopit for dinner again?”

“that was so delicious. Definitely”

“I’ll take Umiko later and show her how to properly kill them and remove their poison”

‘The boys and I will see about finding some fruit somwhere. Didn’t we manage to gather some last time?’

“yep, cant be too far” It was Kelties turn to sigh ‘what’re we going to do when our babies decide to leave home. It’s fun going on these trips with them”

“they are too close to eachother and us to go too far. We’ll still go on trips. Plus we’ve already decided to have more.”

‘I wish we had tents so we could start tonight” Keltie wink and Kepu smiled “maybe we could sneak away after dinner” Kepu suggested and Keltie laughed “I like the sound of that” they enjoyed the romance of the area until theri stomachs started rumbling for food. They walked and called for their children until all were rounded up. “Umiko, I am going to teach you to catch and kill a Snopit. They have multiple poison sacks so you must do just as I say so we dont ruin the meat” Umiko looked as excited as she always did when it came to learning a new skill. “and boys you’re coming with me to find some fruiit” Keltie said cheerfully.

They seperated and Zavier asked ‘is there any new fruit around here? It would be kick ass to have a new meat and fruit tonight”

“If we can find what your father and I found”

“I’m sure we can, Ozuru can tote us if need be”

“Yeah right, maybe mom but not you lazy” Keltie laughed as the boys started playfully bickering. “Mom look!” Zavier said excitedly when bushes seemingly covered in deep purple fruit appeared in the distance. Ozuru could have sworn it wasnt there a second ago but before he could voice his concerns his mother and younger brother were already running “guys!” he tried to call but they ignored him, planning on listening to what he had to say when they arrived.

Everything seemed fine as his mother and Zavier picked fruit so he thought maybe he just missed them the first time until Keltie yelped. His mother had been just arms length away but now as he looked over at her she was further with a dagger pushed so hard into her neck a small amount of blood was sliding down the silver. Ozurus voice was already drenched in anger “you would be wise to give me my mother” in a swift, wordless movement the blade left Kelties throat and he stabbed her in the side before letting go with a cackle. He went to run but Ozuru had already drawn his bow and loaded it with two arrows. They both shot just where he was aiming and would kill the creature in minutes. He still laid cackling as Keltie went to stand.

Ozuru turned to tell Zavier to get their father but he and the bushes were now nowhere in sight “Zavier” the cackle seemed to come from all around and the creature on the ground said “oh we already got our real target. Nice distraction eh?” his laughter continued and Keltie angrily screamed as she clutched her side ‘wheres my baby!”

“my breathen have taken him bitch. You elves think you’re so great but once again we outsmart you”

“Your so called outsmarting has cost you your life and will cost the lives of who has taken Zavier” Ozuru said as he lifted his mother. The creature just cackled until the death rattle left his lungs.

He ran from that place, Keltie crying from the loss of her child rather than the pain in her side. Ozuru screamed for his father and sister as he neared their campsite and his father and sister soon came running, their faces full of worry. When Kepu saw Keltie covered in blood and crying, his heart nearly exploded from his chest. He had her in his arms in an instant. “What happened? Where’s Zavier?” He asked angrily.

Ozuru knew it was not directed at him and quickly explained what had happened, describing every detail of their attack. His father’s face paled. “Do you know who took him?” Umiko asked as she dug in her bag and tore the side of her mother’s shirt. She poured the potion on the wound, relieved when it began to close.

“They sound like yaomo, evil demons with a deep seeded hate for elves.”

“What are they going to do to our baby?” Keltie asked, gripping tightly to his shirt.

“I don’t know, I’m sorry.”

Keltie buried her face in his shirt and continued to weep. “We’ll get him back mom.” Ozuru said.

“Zavier’s tough, you know he can stand up to whatever they do to him.”

“But we don’t even know where they took him, they used an illusion to fool us and when we looked away, they took him. Why did they take him, he’s done nothing wrong.” Keltie interjected.

“I wish I had any insight as to why they’d specifically want him but we’ll find him somehow. There has to be someone who knows this area and if not we’ll look as long as we have to”

“lets get going. We need to find him. They hurt me so quickly, I dont want to think what they will do to Zavier” Keltie pleaded. “Umiko, Ozuru, gather our horses. Your mother is riding on mine with me so I can hold her” she was tempted to say ‘my wound is healed” but knew it would make no difference to her husband. “I’m sorry Kepu. i should have thought more. I’m the mother I”

“sh, why on earth would you think somthing was trying to hurt us? I cant take you saying sorry for it. We will get Zavier back and those stupid little shits will regret harming my family. I will break them” Umiko and Ozuru brought the horses and they all got on. Kepu held the reins with one arm while he had the other secure around his wifes waist.

Zavier glared angrily at the humanoid creature standing on the other side of his cell door, wishing he could reach through the bars and kill it, but an iron collar was locked around his neck and chained to the wall. They had terrorized his mother and brother before taking him and to him, that was unforgivable. “What are you staring at little elf?”

“What do you want with me monster?”

Black eyes blinked back at him from a pale face framed by long red hair. “You elves act like you are gods of the earth, you drive us to the darkest parts of the earth and then forget we exist. Not even your mother and brother knew what we were. We’ll show them.”

“What do you plan on doing with me?”

“You will play for us until we are bored.” The creature left and Zavier glared at him until he disappeared. A few moments later he heard footsteps. He expected another like the creature who had left him, but instead it was a young woman. She had the same pale skin and black eyes and red hair that fell to her calves. She was tall like the creatures who had taken him, maybe two inches shorter than himself. The biggest differences were the pointed ears sticking out of her hair and the two horns atop her head. He believed she was a half breed.

Kepu groaned with frustration as the night was almost giving way to sunrise and they couldn’t find a single clue as to where they had taken Zavier. They hadn’t even found other people of any race as they searched. They wanted to keep going but knew their horses had to be tired so were now just sitting around a fire eating a kill Umiko had obtained. “dad?” Umiko tried hesitantly. His eyes looked angry and scared as he looked at her “yes?”

“If we find a demon maybe we could pay them to follow Zaviers scent.”

“use a demon when demons are the ones who took Zavier”

“well they didn’t all call a meeting and come to a unanimous decision among their kind they were going to take Zavier. I’m sure one might help us”

“That is a good idea” Keltie said, still laying her head on Kepus shoulder. Kepu sighed “I guess but you need to eat Keltie. You barely touched your food” She lifted herself to sit up and grabbed her plate to finish eating for her family.

Zavier stared back at the woman who had been staring at him for hours. She hadn’t moved an inch from her place on the floor, she just stared. He sighed, “What are you doing?”

She cocked her head to the side, seeming surprised he had spoken to her. “I was told to keep an eye on you.”

“Why would they send a woman, not that women aren’t strong, but I don’t understand their logic.”

“Because if you try to escape, you won’t hurt me.”

He rolled his eyes. “If a woman tries to attack me, I’m going to defend myself.”

“You would hit me?”

“Only if I was forced to.” He gave her a small smile. “You’re not like the others, you don’t act like I’m the scum of the earth.”

She looked at her hands. “I don’t even know you, why would I hate you? I don’t hate any of you.”

“And your look is different.”

Her eyes jumped to his face. “My mother was a satyr.”

“Hmm, how strange. They seemed like the type that care only for their own kind.”

“My father is leader of this clan and he loved my mother dearly. No one would dare go against his wishes, so I get to stay and even though I don’t share his views, I still love him.”

He smiled again. “A child’s love is unconditional.” He sighed. “I may make life hard for you uh…”

“Sera.” She said.

“I may make life hard for you Sera, I’m going to have to escape, I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay, I already knew you weren’t the type to give up.”

Chapter Three

“You going to stop me?’ She shrugged “I’ll have to put some effort into stopping you” her voice went lower “but honestly you havent done anything so why should I try to force you to stay. They plan to punish you for a crime you havent committed and thats not fair atall is it?”

“you could just let me go then”

“My father loves me but he will punish me if I do that. He is a vicious man when you defy him”

“even to you?’

“even to me. I wouldn’t call him abusive but his punishments are if that makes sense”

“hes still abusive if he overly punishes you”

“You are not a demon, you couldn’t understand. Your race is far more docile”

“I don’t care what race he is, he has no right to abuse you”

“he doesn’t, just punishes me severely when I disobey” Zavier sighed and decided to drop it. This was a point he obviously wasn’t going to get across. He needed to think about escaping anyway. Zavier knew his family must be in turmoil over him being gone. He didn’t want them to have to worry any longer than they had to.

Being worried and stressed had finally taken its toll on Keltie and she fell asleep in her husband’s arms not long after she finished eating. Kepu hated how distressed she looked even in her sleep and kissed her forehead. “Umiko, you and your mother are going to stay here while your brother and I continue searching for help.”

“Dad, we need to stick together.” Umiko replied.

“Listen, she’s exhausted and upset, she needs to rest. I need you to watch over her for me. I know she can take care of herself most of the time, but right now she doesn’t need to worry about fighting.”

Umiko sighed. “Alright, I’ll stay.”

“Thank you.” He laid Keltie gently on the ground, using his bag as a pillow for her head. He kissed her forehead once more then got to his feet. “Come on Ozuru.”

“Yes sir.” They left the camp they had made and headed out into the woods, keeping their eyes and ears open. They found their way back to the path that lead to the valley and walked down it. Neither of them said a word, both of them too angry and worried for small talk. It was a couple of hours later that voices caught their attention and they both came to a halt, listening. The conversation sounded light hearted. They started walking again, following the voices into the woods until they came to a river. A man and a woman were playing in the water, the latter of whom froze and looked their way. He had scars on one side of his face and torso and his yellow eyes turned black as he came out of the water and put himself between the woman and the two much larger men.

“Who are you?” He asked.

“Please, we mean no harm, we just need help.” Kepu explained.

The woman came out of the water and grabbed the man’s arm. “Matvei, calm down, they don’t seem dangerous.”

The demon took a deep breath, his eyes shifting back to their natural yellow. “Sorry, she’s my mate. I didn’t know if you were bandits or something else.”

“believe us, we understand. We were actually hoping you two could help us. My son was taken by yaomo. I’m not an elf but this man beside me is my other son, his mother is an elf. We cant scent like you demons can. I’d be willing to pay or do anything for your assistance. He’s our youngest and loved dearly” Matvei looked at Zoya who said “please help him. They seem nice and honestly worried”

“my mate wants to help so my nose is yours. You wont owe us anything.”

“thank you” Both Kepu and Ozuru said. Matvei took in their scent knowing the younger man would have traces of their scents on him. He knelt down so Zoya could get on his back then said “Just follow me” He took off and they quickly followed. Kepu and Ozuru felt a twinge of relief now that they had a demons help. The situation no longer felt insurmountable.

Keltie woke to the sound of her daughter humming. It took her a moment, but she suddenly realized both Kepu and Ozuru were gone and sat up. “Where’s your father and brother?”

“Dad said you needed to rest so he took Ozuru and went to find help.”

“Why didn’t he wake me?”

Umiko reached over ad took her hand. “Don’t be upset, he was right, you’ve had it the worst. Besides, I tried reasoning with him already and you know how he can be.”

“I know, I just want Zavier back.”

“We’ll get him back mom.”

Sera got to her feet at the sound of multiple sets of footsteps. Four demons came up to the cell and she stepped aside, standing there while they opened the cell door and went inside. Two of them held Zavier’s arms behind his back, another held a sword to his throat and the fourth took the collar from around his neck. “Time to play elf.” The one with the sword said.

“I just love games.” He replied as they forced him to his feet. The demon with the sword punched him in the gut and growled when Zavier hardly doubled over.

“Watch your tongue elf or I will cut it out.”

“What game will he be playing?” Sera asked softly.

“He’s fighting the athach.”

“What is an athach?” Zavier asked as he was forced from his cell.

“A ten foot giant.” One of the demons responded.

“But no one beats the athach.” Zavier struggled away from his attackers and wrapped his arms around Sera, holding tightly to her as the demons tried to forced him off.

“Bring me my daggers.” He whispered in her ear then let the demons pull him away.

She waited until she knew they wouldn’t notice her then hurried to gather his daggers. They always put captives things in the same heap so they wouldn’t be hard to find. She grabbed them then made her way to the arena. She knew it was unlikely that it wouldn’t be found out she gave Zavier his daggers but she could endure her fathers punishment to help an innocent man punished for deeds that weren’t his.

Keltie paced in an irregular pattern as they waited “mom, you’re not resting.”

“I can’t”

“mom”

“Please Umiko, I cant”

“If I made you somthing to relax you would you drink it”

“sure” Umiko began what she needed for a nice brew of tea that would have her laying down if not sleeping after she ingested it. Matvei found a cave and began leading them into its depths. Kepu nor Ozuru questioned him as they followed into the chill and dark of the cave. It seemed to go on and on as it went lower and lower. Kepu wondered how deep this cave dove down before it stopped.

Zavier was forced through a door and into a ring that was illuminated by magic lights. He could see people sitting along the rim, their voices loud as they jeered at him. There was a large door on the other side and a demon standing above it turned a wheel that hauled it up. A giant fur covered man stepped out, a loincloth around his waste and a stone club in his right hand. The creature spotted him and let out a roar that drove the crowd into a frenzy. It ran at him, raising the club above its head and bringing it down. Zavier rolled to the right, the club missing him and slamming into the ground so it shook. He was fast enough to stay out of the way, but without his daggers, he was no good. He dodged a second blow, making the crowd angry that he had gone on the defensive and was not putting on a show.

Sera sat his daggers on the edge of the ring, her heart in her throat as she watched swing after swing almost hit Zavier. She picked up a rock, hoping he would forgive her for hitting him and threw it at him so it hit him in his back. He glanced back and she kicked his daggers over the edge and into the ring. The sound of yelling and cheering echoed through the cave system, catching the attention of Kepu, Ozuru, Matvei and Zoya. It sounded like there was a celebration going on and that in itself worried both Kepu and Ozuru.

Matvei picked up his pace, impressed to see Kepu and Ozuru keeping up so well with him. When the tunnel opened up into where they obviously lived Matvei looked at his two companions seriously “I’m helping you with your family. By that same token do not let anything happen to my mate while we fight if you can help it. She is my everything” Kepu answered “do not put her in danger. Go, my son and I can take it from here”

“But you’ll be outnumbered and they are demons”

“father, I’ll guard her, you and Matvei fight. I may have learned well from you and mother but they are demons. It would be best if this man fought with you to get Zavier”

“will you feel fine with him?” Matvei asked. Zoya glanced over at Ozuru. His size was intimidating but she told Matvei she would stay with him. He set her down and Ozuru said “I’ll protect her like I would my mother, I swear”

“I expect it” Matvei said before running off with Kepu. “whats your name mam?” Ozuru asked and she answered “Zoya”

“Please dont fear me Zoya. I know I’m huge like my father but we are gentle men”

“How olds your brother?” she changed the topic to. “He looks to be in his early twenties but hes in his thirties.”

“He’s the youngest?”

“yes, Umiko is oldest and then theres me”

“Umiko?”

“My sister, she’s six foot tall”

“Oh wow” Ozuru would keep small talk going to distract both him and her.

Keltie relaxed by the fire, fearing her her sons and husband. She just wanted them all back, wanted to fall asleep in Kepu’s arms. She was really looking forward to having a new baby and knew she had to keep faith in Kepu’s ability to fight. She sighed and Umiko once again reached over and grabbed her hand. “They’ll be back mom.” She said.

“I know, I’m just scared. If I lost one of them a part of me would die. I need you all in my life. I wish head had taken us.”

“He was just being a good husband and father.”

“I know and it makes me love him even more. I’m a really lucky girl.” Umiko smiled. “You will be too baby girl, there is someone out there for everyone.”

Umiko blushed. “Oh come on mom.”

“Dion’s nice.”

“Mom, you’re talking crazy because you’re tired. Why don’t you rest?” Keltie gave a soft laugh at her daughter’s embarrassment.

“You can’t blame a mother for trying.”

Chapter Four

“I love you mom. I’m fine though. I want a relationship but I’m by no means crying myself to sleep”

“I know, I just want all my babies happy” Keltie laid down “if you get too tired don’t strain yourself. Wake me and I’ll watch you sleep”

“I will mom” Umiko put out the fire when her mom went to sleep so it wouldn’t attract anything. Then just let her mind drift in thought. All the demons were watching the fight so Kepu and Matvei didn’t have any resistance until they neared the ring. Between the two of them, even with the Yaomos illusions it was easy just to cut through. They made it to the ring with mostly minor injuries and Kepu could finally see his son as he fought. Zavier was fighting back in such a manor Kepu could be proud but seeing his son in danger got his adrenaline pumping even more with need to get him away, safe and back with his mother.

Kepu was snapping necks until he reached Sera who even in his rage could see she wasn’t trying to attack him. “Matvei, leave this one alone” he called over to his partner. Sera was shocked as he went by her and jumped into the ring with his son. It was almost right after Seras father, the leader of these demons jumped in too “what are you doing here” he seethed “this is my son”

“You wont take our toy”

“My son is not a toy” he said through gritted teeth. The giant turned and went towards Kepu who wore a more annoyed face rather than a frightened one. He easily took him down causing the demons to gasp “I’m taking my son home and you fucking bastards aren’t going to stop me” Seras dad screeched out in anger “fine, take the boy” smart enough not to say so outloud he said “but I’ll come back for him, I’ll come back for your whole family”

Kepu picked up his son “I dont want to hear it” he said since he knew Zavier would not want to be carried out. Outrage poured out among the Yaomo as they walked away. They wanted their master to fight but all he had to do was yell silence and they all obeyed, more afraid of him than angry Zavier was being taken back.

When they reached Ozuru and Zoya Kepu put his son down. Ozuru tackled his brother with a hug “are you alright”

“yes, lets get to mom. I need to see her.”

“she’s fine brother, you know that but yes, lets hurry” Matvei got his mate on his back again and they all ran out “I think we were let go too easy” Kepu pointed out as they ran “why didn’t you kill him then?”

“I dont kill anything that isnt trying to kill me or my loved ones. Currently, he is no longer a threat” Matvei nodded and they ran the rest of the way in silence. Umiko was still guarding her mother when she heard people approaching. She quickly stood, ready to fight to keep her mother from harm but was soon washed over with relief when she could see her father and brothers. “Mom!” she said excitedly. Keltie bolted up. “what is” she started then also saw “Zavier!” both girls ran towards them.

Kepu wanted to scoop Keltie up but he allowed her and Umiko to hug Zavier. When keltie finally let go Kepu lifted Keltie. “are you cross with me?”

“you brought back Zavier and were only thinking of my safety. I’m not mad” He kissed her then said “this is Matvei and” he felt bad he hadn’t caught her name “Zoya, they helped us” Ozuru said. Zoya spoke ‘well my mate helped”

“but he only helped because you were fine with it” Kepu added. Keltie pushed out of Kepus arms and hugged them both “thank you, can we repay you two?”

“No, we’re fine”

“Please, atleast let us hunt you a good meal” Umiko insisted. Matvei figuring Zoya must be hungry agreed “okay, a meal sounds nice.” They all sat down then Umiko and Ozuru went to hunt. Kepu had Keltie locked back in his arms, not planning on letting her go again for awhile. Kepu nor Matvei realized how hungry they were until Umiko began cooking. Between all of them the animal Umiko and Ozuru had killed was devoured. “woah, do I need to get any more?’ Umiko asked. “No, we should all just rest now. I’m sure you watched over your mother the whole time. Please sleep” Kepu said. Umiko nodded and Matvei stood “Zoya and I will be going.”

“thank you again” Keltie said and he smiled “family is important. I hope Zoya and I have kids one day” Zoya blushed at his words which made Keltie smile more. “I’m sure they’ll be adorable”The next day they decided they had had enough adventure and started back home. Kepu knew those demons weren’t done with them but if they struck again he wouldn’t be as willing to walk away. Their leader would deeply regret daring to touch his family twice.

~The End

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